hard core

What Is Your “New Normal”?

Blog #231 Last week, I went for an early morning bike ride in the freezing temperature and blustery winds. I did not think much about it as I prepared for the nine-mile ride to my office. Most of the ice had melted and I felt confident I could handle whatever came up. I had researched and invested in the right gear and I knew my route well. As I cranked

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clear vision, no fear

Change: Why You Shouldn’t Fear It

Blog #230 Usually, I am called in when organizations have hit a plateau and are feeling a bit stuck. Often, these are successful businesses that want to continue the upward trajectory. They just are not sure how to keep the momentum going. This almost always means they are stuck…and a change is going to have to happen. This typically involves clarifying a common vision, restructuring an organization to streamline and

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Time Horizon

The Importance of Plotting Time Horizons

Blog #229 I have been pondering a recent session I conducted with a leadership team of an organization that had just been purchased by a larger, synergistic competitor. In other words, it was young, big, growing company that was backed by a lot of money, yet they had not been faced with many large business issues. The cultures matched and it appeared to be a great fit.  Before we met,

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Why Conflict Avoidance Hurts Productivity

Blog #228 I believe that conflict avoidance is the number one killer of productivity and profitability in small and mid-sized businesses. In fact, I think one of the main reasons that people keep me around for facilitation is because I am willing to “Go there”. I can’t tell you the number of times that I have been working with a leadership team when, finally, the topic of John/Jane comes up.

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Be Unreasonable (Does That Mean Me, Too?)

Blog #227 I love saying things like, “Extraordinary often lives in the unreasonable, so be unreasonable,” “Good enough sucks,” or, to use my favorite Henry Ford quote, “Whether you believe you can or believe you can’t, you’re right.” I push the teams I work with to be unreasonable, to be great, and to believe they can. Sometimes, this comes back to haunt me. What I mean is that I also

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Look forward

Embracing the Power of the Do-Over

Blog #226 Recently, Reka and I completed our annual strategic planning trip that we do as a couple. We have done this for 20 years in one form or another, yet we have really embraced it over the last three years. I can confidently say there is not anything else that we do together that is as impactful on our relationship and as powerful. In fact, we began facilitating couples

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time talent treasure

Valuable Lessons from Harvard Business School: Rethinking Time, Talent, and Treasure

Blog #225 This post is the fifth part of this series, which shares my insights and take-aways from the recent Inspiring Entrepreneurial Strategy course I completed at Harvard Business School. In this case, the events outlined here happened after my experience at Harvard; however, the thoughts and ideas expressed in this blog occurred to me during my time there. It was then that I realized I had not done any

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classroom

Valuable Lessons from Harvard Business School: Stay True to Your Brand

Blog #224 In this blog, the fourth of the series, I will continue sharing my take-aways, observations, and reflections from the Inspiring Entrepreneurial Strategy course I recently took at Harvard Business School. Professor Bill Kerr presented a case study that involved the company CrossFit. The owner of CrossFit was going through a divorce and his spouse was selling her stake in the business for over $20 million. She legally had

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View of Harvard campus

Valuable Lessons from Harvard Business School: When Buying a Business, Keep It Short and Sweet

Blog #223 This blog is the third installment of my insights and take-aways from a course called Inspiring Entrepreneurial Strategy I recently completed at Harvard Business School. One case study followed the process that Jim Sharp, an upper-level corporate guy, endured to buy a business, onboard himself, turn it around, and eventually sell it. Since I am a former business broker, I loved this case, as it was fun to

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harvard

Valuable Lessons from Harvard Business School: Are You Looking Downfield?

Blog #222 This blog is the second installment of my insights and take-aways from a course called Inspiring Entrepreneurial Strategy I recently completed at Harvard Business School. Professor Lynda Applegate presented a case study in which she described some early personal challenges that had influenced her in becoming a professor. After being tenured, life threw her a wonderful curveball – she had a son. Lynda continued by expressing how she

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